Protect children

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A Protection Order will also protect any children who usually or regularly live with the person who applied for the Protection Order.

Because of the no contact conditions in a Protection Order, the violent person (called the respondent) may only have contact with children if:

  • there’s a Parenting Order, other court order or parenting agreement in place between the applicant and the respondent, or
  • if the person who applied for the Protection Order (called the applicant) has agreed to live with the respondent.

Court-ordered Parenting Order

The court can decide to make an interim Parenting Order about who is to have day-to-day care and contact with any child covered by the Protection Order, even if no one has applied for a Parenting Order. In this case, the person who is given day-to-day care must then apply for a Parenting Order as soon as possible. An interim Parenting Order lasts for up to 1 year or until the child turns 16, unless the court orders otherwise.

Parenting Orders

Either the person who applied for the Protection Order or the violent person can apply to the court for a Parenting Order. A Parenting Order sets out who has day-to-day care of the children and who can have contact with them. (Day-to-day care used to be called custody, and contact used to be called access.)

A judge must be sure children will be safe with the violent person before allowing any contact so they might say that when the violent person is with their children they must be supervised by another adult. If supervised contact is allowed, the Parenting Order will say when the violent person can see their children.

An urgent Parenting Order can be applied for at the same time as a Protection Order. A lawyer can help you do this. If you can’t afford a lawyer, you may be able to get legal aid.

Legal aid

Children who turn 17 while a Protection Order is in place

Children who turn 17 while a Protection Order is in place are also protected if they still live with the person who applied for the Order.

If the children don't want the Order to apply once they turn 17, and they’re still living with the person who applied, either that person or the violent person needs to ask the court to change the Order.

Find out more about Parenting Orders

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